Articles | Volume 18, issue 8
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 5967–5989, 2018

Special issue: Global and regional assessment of intercontinental transport...

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 5967–5989, 2018
Research article
27 Apr 2018
Research article | 27 Apr 2018

Assessment and economic valuation of air pollution impacts on human health over Europe and the United States as calculated by a multi-model ensemble in the framework of AQMEII3

Ulas Im1, Jørgen Brandt1, Camilla Geels1, Kaj Mantzius Hansen1, Jesper Heile Christensen1, Mikael Skou Andersen1, Efisio Solazzo2, Ioannis Kioutsioukis3, Ummugulsum Alyuz4, Alessandra Balzarini5, Rocio Baro6, Roberto Bellasio7, Roberto Bianconi7, Johannes Bieser8, Augustin Colette9, Gabriele Curci10,11, Aidan Farrow12, Johannes Flemming13, Andrea Fraser14, Pedro Jimenez-Guerrero6, Nutthida Kitwiroon15, Ciao-Kai Liang16, Uarporn Nopmongcol17, Guido Pirovano5, Luca Pozzoli4,2, Marje Prank18,19, Rebecca Rose14, Ranjeet Sokhi12, Paolo Tuccella10,11, Alper Unal4, Marta Garcia Vivanco9,20, Jason West16, Greg Yarwood17, Christian Hogrefe21, and Stefano Galmarini2 Ulas Im et al.
  • 1Aarhus University, Department of Environmental Science, Frederiksborgvej 399, Roskilde, Denmark
  • 2European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC), Ispra, Italy
  • 3University of Patras, Department of Physics, University Campus 26504 Rio, Patras, Greece
  • 4Eurasia Institute of Earth Sciences, Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 5Ricerca sul Sistema Energetico (RSE S.p.A.), Milan, Italy
  • 6University of Murcia, Department of Physics, Physics of the Earth, Campus de Espinardo, Ed. CIOyN, Murcia, Spain
  • 7Enviroware SRL, Concorezzo MB, Italy
  • 8Institute of Coastal Research, Chemistry Transport Modelling Group, Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht, Geesthacht, Germany
  • 9INERIS, Institut National de l'Environnement Industriel et des Risques, Parc Alata, Verneuil-en-Halatte, France
  • 10Dept. Physical and Chemical Sciences, University of L'Aquila, L'Aquila, Italy
  • 11Center of Excellence CETEMPS, University of L'Aquila, L'Aquila, Italy
  • 12Centre for Atmospheric and Instrumentation Research (CAIR), University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, UK
  • 13European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecast (ECMWF), Reading, UK
  • 14Ricardo Energy & Environment, Gemini Building, Fermi Avenue, Harwell, Oxon, UK
  • 15Environmental Research Group, Kings' College London, London, UK
  • 16Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
  • 17Ramboll Environ, 773 San Marin Drive, Suite 2115, Novato, CA, USA
  • 18Finnish Meteorological Institute, Atmospheric Composition Research Unit, Helsinki, Finland
  • 19Cornell University, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Ithaca, NY, USA
  • 20CIEMAT. Avda. Complutense 40., Madrid, Spain
  • 21Computational Exposure Division, National Exposure Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Development, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC, USA

Abstract. The impact of air pollution on human health and the associated external costs in Europe and the United States (US) for the year 2010 are modeled by a multi-model ensemble of regional models in the frame of the third phase of the Air Quality Modelling Evaluation International Initiative (AQMEII3). The modeled surface concentrations of O3, CO, SO2 and PM2.5 are used as input to the Economic Valuation of Air Pollution (EVA) system to calculate the resulting health impacts and the associated external costs from each individual model. Along with a base case simulation, additional runs were performed introducing 20 % anthropogenic emission reductions both globally and regionally in Europe, North America and east Asia, as defined by the second phase of the Task Force on Hemispheric Transport of Air Pollution (TF-HTAP2).

Health impacts estimated by using concentration inputs from different chemistry–transport models (CTMs) to the EVA system can vary up to a factor of 3 in Europe (12 models) and the United States (3 models). In Europe, the multi-model mean total number of premature deaths (acute and chronic) is calculated to be 414 000, while in the US, it is estimated to be 160 000, in agreement with previous global and regional studies. The economic valuation of these health impacts is calculated to be EUR 300 billion and 145 billion in Europe and the US, respectively. A subset of models that produce the smallest error compared to the surface observations at each time step against an all-model mean ensemble results in increase of health impacts by up to 30 % in Europe, while in the US, the optimal ensemble mean led to a decrease in the calculated health impacts by  ∼  11 %.

A total of 54 000 and 27 500 premature deaths can be avoided by a 20 % reduction of global anthropogenic emissions in Europe and the US, respectively. A 20 % reduction of North American anthropogenic emissions avoids a total of  ∼  1000 premature deaths in Europe and 25 000 total premature deaths in the US. A 20 % decrease of anthropogenic emissions within the European source region avoids a total of 47 000 premature deaths in Europe. Reducing the east Asian anthropogenic emissions by 20 % avoids  ∼  2000 total premature deaths in the US. These results show that the domestic anthropogenic emissions make the largest impacts on premature deaths on a continental scale, while foreign sources make a minor contribution to adverse impacts of air pollution.

Short summary
The impacts of air pollution on human health and their costs in Europe and the United States for the year 2010 ared modeled by a multi-model ensemble. In Europe, the number of premature deaths is calculated to be 414 000, while in the US it is estimated to be 160 000. Health impacts estimated by individual models can vary up to a factor of 3. Results show that the domestic emissions have the largest impact on premature deaths, compared to foreign sources.
Final-revised paper